Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries

A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Sinful Suitors, Book 4.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781501144530
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Sabrina Jeffries Reading Order

Widow Meriel Vyse is stunned speechless when someone tries to abduct her on her way to a ball. Fortunately, Quinn Raines, her secret beau, shows up to foil the attack. Unfortunately, as the two of them are struggling with her abductor, Meriel accidentally stabs Quinn with a knife.

Unbeknownst to Meriel, Quinn set up the fake abduction so he could play the hero and win her hand in marriage. But now that his plan has gone disastrously awry, can he convince her that he’s still the man for her?

A Talent for Temptation is a fast and fun romance featuring a hero and heroine who just need that little extra push to be together. Meriel and Quinn have been dancing around one another for quite some time, but her secrets and his uncertainty about her feelings are keeping them from taking that final leap and opening their hearts. When Quinn finally has enough and takes a chance at playing the dashing hero (by setting up a pretend kidnapping), his plan fails miserably but winds up being that aforementioned push he and Meriel needed.

Quinn and Meriel are incredibly sweet together and Ms. Jeffries does a good job of establishing their characters (Meriel’s in particular) in the short length of the novella. I did like Quinn and Meriel together but since we don’t get to see how or why they fell in love, I felt like their romance was missing something. Perhaps with a bit more length, I wouldn’t have felt as if I’d come in at the end of a longer story. That being said, I was still charmed by A Talent for Temptation overall and the story made me eager to read the next Sinful Suitors novel. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jeffries has in store for Meriel’s brother-in-law, the intriguing spymaster Baron Fulkham.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter, Book 10
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780451488244
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

Archangel’s Viper is a total rush. Venom and Holly’s story was so engaging that I risked a sleepless night (and being a zombie at work) because I didn’t want to put the book down.

Four years ago, Holly Chang was kidnapped and tortured by an insane archangel. In the time since her rescue, Holly has worked and fought to make a new life for herself, knowing she can never go back to who she once was. I loved Holly’s spirit, her unwillingness to give in or take the easy road. She can stand toe-to-toe with far more powerful immortals and not be dwarfed by their presence. And Holly does all this without ever seeming too perfect a heroine. Her strength shines because we can see how vulnerable she is as well. There’s an otherness inside her, a deadly presence the archangel Uram left within her, and it’s growing in power. Holly is a great character to begin with, but she comes into her own over the course of Archangel’s Viper as the power within her strengthens and she must fight to stay herself. Added to that, someone has put a bounty on her head and to find out who that is, she must work with the one vampire who drives her completely mad.

Venom is one of the most powerful vampires on the planet. He’s also unique because of the way he was Made and he’s sometimes isolated, except from the few people he trusts enough to be close to. I’d been intrigued by Venom for some time and I really enjoyed learning about the man behind the viper eyes. Venom was as deadly and seductive as I’d expected, but he’s also quietly caring and has a hidden vulnerability that broke my heart. I absolutely loved Venom and Holly together. He has never treated her as broken, and his teasing brings the liveliness out of her when the darkness threatens. The two of them are unique and it’s their uniqueness which draws them together in the first place. The romance between Holly and Venom is slow to burn, and though it took a backseat to the main storyline, I honestly didn’t mind. Venom and Holly’s love story felt organic, and I loved seeing how their relationship changed and developed over the course of the story. I was rooting for these two and I liked that I didn’t always know how they’d make it out alive, never mind get their happily ever after.

Archangel’s Viper is the tenth book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and I highly recommend reading the series in order. Much of the action in Archangel’s Viper takes place at the same time as the events of the previous book, Archangel’s Heart, and seeing what’s happening with the cast in New York while the rest of the principal characters are in Morocco helps give the world a more complete feel. With the Cascade in effect, there’s no pausing in action anywhere in the world of the angels and vampires we love. I finished Archangel’s Viper a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see where Ms. Singh takes readers in the next Guild Hunter book.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, Book 4
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780062448088
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

You know those books that just make you smile when you read them? Chasing Christmas Eve is exactly that kind of story. Spence and Colbie’s romance is flirty and fun with a whole lot of warmth; it’s a holiday romance you can enjoy all year long.

I have a soft spot for nerdy heroes and Spence is a totally sigh-worthy one. He’s brilliant, sexy, generous, and kind – the perfect hero without ever becoming a cardboard character. He’s also quite wealthy and the way people have tried to use him for that wealth has made him wary and his friends protective. Spence was a pretty dreamy hero. He’s not without flaw – he has a huge problem with work/life balance – but I fell pretty fast and hard for him and was eager to see him get his happily ever after with Colbie. Colbie is a quirky, sweet heroine I adored. She’s also a bestselling author who is under so much pressure personally and professionally that she’s ready to crack. An accident involving rogue animals and a special fountain bring Spence and Colbie together and they click right away. Both of them are stressed out by their work, have been hurt in the past, and I liked that they understood one another so well. Colbie and Spence’s romance is both sweet and sensual and their slide into love had me sighing. Though they know from the outset their time together has an expiration date, I was rooting for them to take the leap, open their hearts, and find a way to make things work.

When Colbie flees New York for San Francisco to take a break from her life, she not only finds love, but a whole new group of friends. Colbie fits right in with the Heartbreaker Bay gang and the whole group made me go all warm and gushy. They’re the kind of characters you just wish were real so you could be friends with them. The Heartbreaker Bay cast is truly charming and helps make this story shine. Chasing Christmas Eve is classic Jill Shalvis in that it’s an excellent mix of humor and heart. I finished Colbie and Spence’s book a well-satisfied reader and I can’t wait for the next Heartbreaker Bay story!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Review: Playing with Forever by Amy Andrews

Playing with Forever by Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781976150920
Release Date: September 25, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He's living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she's counting down the days. In two months she'll finally be moving to Italy and no man's going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues. Pretty soon they're assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date.

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it's not over until the final hooter sounds and all's fair in love and rugby.

Amy Andrews delivers the ultimate meet-cute when a hot cowboy/rugby player goes searching for help with the possibly possessed Great Dane he’s dog-sitting. Playing with Forever starts off on a high note as Ryder and Juliet’s initial meeting has all the humor and crackling chemistry I’ve come to expect from Ms. Andrews’s work. What follows is a seriously hot story that’s enjoyable, though not quite as engaging as the first three Sydney Smoke Rugby books because the characters didn’t feel fully developed.

Ryder was a pretty likeable hero who quickly went from a playboy to a man head over heels for Juliet. Ryder is charming, good-natured, and seriously sexy, but I never felt like I got to know his character well enough for him to hold my attention. As for Juliet…I really wanted to like her. She’s a woman with a dream who has been through a lot, but again, I didn’t ever really get a sense of who she was beyond the basics. Because of this, her rather frustrating habit of getting irritated with Ryder over little things made me irritated with her more often than not as the story progressed. Juliet isn’t a bad heroine, but I wanted more. The romance is mostly based on sex and because there wasn’t a lot of depth to Ryder or Juliet it was difficult for me to understand why they fell in love. That doesn’t mean Playing with Forever is a bad story. Ms. Andrews’s writing is so much fun that even with the issues I had with the romance, I still liked the story well enough. The supporting cast – both human and canine – added personality to the story. Tiny the Great Dane threatens to steal every scene he’s in and I adored any scene that featured Ryder’s teammates. So while Playing with Forever had its ups and downs for me, I absolutely love the Sydney Smoke Rugby series and cannot wait for more hot rugby heroes.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781492656531
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

TONIGHT, SHE PLANS TO LET GO.

Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?

Gear Blackstone's cheating ex and scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does—with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he's ever met.

After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?

All I Want for Halloween is anything but ordinary thanks to its unique characters. I love heroines in particular who break the mold and Marie Harte definitely delivered with Sadie. Sadie is a breath of fresh air. She’s blunt, often cranky, has no patience for BS, and isn’t exactly what you’d call a people person. I loved that she is confident and outspoken and I honestly just plain liked her. She was hurt in the past pretty badly and I was rooting for those walls around her heart to come down. Gear is her perfect match. He’s equally blunt and grouchy and has also been burned in the past by people he trusted. Nevertheless, he falls fast and hard for Sadie and doesn’t give up even when she’s wary of trusting him with her heart. I loved that these two wonderfully flawed characters actually like things about one another that others might not. Their romance is not only seriously hot, it’s fun.

The road to happily ever after isn’t always a smooth ride for Sadie and Gear, but luckily for them they both have family on hand to support them when the going gets tough. Neither the Liberato nor the Blackstone clan is your average family, and I adored that about them. The entire cast (discounting evil exes and backstabbing former best friends) is irreverent, good-hearted, and charmed the heck out of me. I liked them all so much that I hated to say good-bye at the end of the book; I really hope Ms. Harte has stories in store for Sadie and Gear’s siblings (especially if the attraction between their brothers turns into something more). All I Want for Halloween is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Harte and it’s a total treat. I can’t wait to read more of her work.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Make Me Yours by Rebecca Brooks


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I love Rebecca Brooks's Men of Gold Mountain series. The stories are sexy and entertaining and the characters are wonderfully flawed (I have a soft spot in particular for flawed heroines). The teasers for Claire's story have me really excited to read it, which is why my Waiting on Wednesday pick this week is Make Me Yours.

Title: Make Me Yours
Series: Men of Gold Mountain, Book 4
Author: Rebecca Brooks
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Release Date: October 9, 2017

Book Description (from Goodreads):

Claire Collins has always been good—except when it comes to bad boys. Or one bad boy in particular: a tattooed musician as skilled with her body as he is with his guitar. But he wasn’t ready to be a father, so she left him to raise their daughter on her own. Only fate had other plans, and suddenly, Ryan is back in her life, disrupting everything. This time, though, she’s determined not to lose her heart…even if she still craves his touch.

Ryan Thomas never expects to see Claire again—especially not in a small mountain town in Washington on the last show of his comeback tour. But when the lights come on, there she is, more beautiful than ever. One incredible night with her won’t be enough… But he’ll have to prove he’s not the man he used to be, if he wants to keep her—and his family—for good.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: Untold by Shannon Richard

Untold by Shannon Richard
Series: Country Roads, Book 7
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781455565122
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Shannon Richard Reading Order

Sometimes love has a plan of its own…

Brie Davis came to Mirabelle, Florida, for one thing: the funeral of her birth mother-a woman she never had a chance to know. Now Brie must sort through her mother's life to get the answers she was denied. She plans to leave as soon as she can…except the sexy veterinarian makes Brie's pulse beat faster than she's willing to admit.

Finn Shepherd knows Brie's only in town for a short while, but he can't stay away. Instead he finds himself looking for more reasons to keep her close. Finn's already had his fair share of heartbreak, yet Brie makes him want to take that risk again. Now all Finn has to do is convince her to take a chance on him…before she disappears from his life forever.

Shannon Richard’s Country Roads comes to a close with the heartwarming Untold. Finn and Brie’s story has everything I’ve come to expect from Ms. Richard’s books: a sweet (with a dash of spice) romance, endearing characters, and a story that can tug on your heartstrings at the most unexpected moments.

Finn Shepherd had his heart broken eight years ago and he’s never wanted to risk that kind of pain again. Then Brie Davis comes into town and just plain knocks him off his feet. Brie is in Mirabelle for the funeral of her birth mother – the infamous Bethelda Grimshaw. Brie never knew the woman, but now she’s inherited everything, including some animosity from people Bethelda hurt. Brie is a charming heroine with a good heart and a deep-seated need to know where she came from. I adored her from the first and wanted her to find happiness in Mirabelle and with Finn. Finn is a caring, loving, sexy hero whose past has made him wary of entering a relationship. When he and Brie decide to enter a no strings attached affair while she’s in town, it’s clear that these two are going to find themselves entangled sooner rather than later. Finn and Brie fit like lock and key; they’re truly perfect for each other on every level. I loved watching them fall into a relationship and fall in love almost without realizing it. Their romance is by turns sweet and sensual and I was rooting for them to get the happily ever after they so deserved.

Untold is the seventh full-length book in the Country Roads series and though it can be read as a standalone, there are some minor spoilers for the previous books in the series. As a fan of the series, I was thrilled to briefly visit with past Country Roads heroes and heroines and see where they are now. Ms. Richard also gave me something I didn’t know I wanted: a look into the life of Bethelda Grimshaw. I absolutely hated Bethelda in previous books because she was so cruel. Learning about her alongside Brie ended up tugging on my heartstrings more than I expected. Ms. Richard doesn’t excuse Bethelda’s actions in any way, but I really did like getting a greater understanding of the character.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the residents of Mirabelle throughout the Country Roads series. While I’m sad to see the series come to a close, Finn and Brie’s romance is really a great ending. Untold is simply a lovely story from beginning to end.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Going Dark by Monica McCarty
Series: The Lost Platoon, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780399587702
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to…

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her…

When things go horribly wrong on a mission in Russia, the surviving members of SEAL Team Nine are ordered to scatter and go dark. It’s been two months since everything went to hell, and Senior Chief Dean Baylor is now living under the radar in Scotland, working as a dive boat captain. He doesn’t need any complications, especially if they come in the form of beautiful marine ecologist Annie Henderson. Annie is on the Isle of Lewis to protest a potentially hazardous offshore drilling venture, but when she learns the activists she arrived with are up to something dangerous, she has no one to turn to for help except for the even more dangerous looking dive boat captain. It’s the second time in two months that things go south for Dean, but he’s not about to let anything happen to Annie, even if it means risking blowing his cover.

Monica McCarty starts off her Lost Platoon series with a bang. Going Dark is an intense, interesting, and engaging romantic suspense. I’ve enjoyed Ms. McCarty’s historical romances in the past, so I was thrilled to discover that she’s every bit as adept when it comes to romantic suspense.

What sets Going Dark apart from a lot of the military romances I’ve read lately is the characters. Badass heroes are a dime a dozen, but while the members of SEAL Team Nine are definitely strong alphas, they’re not over the top (which I was grateful for). Dean is a strong, resourceful, straight-shooting conservative hero. He’s both sexy and endearing, but he doesn’t have the best opinion of people like Annie, who he considers liberal academics in their ivory towers. Annie is a liberal vegetarian marine ecologist who is an idealist at heart. Though she can be na├»ve, Annie won me over because she truly has a good heart and is trying to make the world a better place. The two seem like total opposites, but they actually fit one another perfectly. I loved that they were able to discuss their different ideologies and that they actually listened to one another when they were disagreeing. Ms. McCarty did a great job of showing where Dean and Annie came from and the events that shaped them and their beliefs. It’s not an easy thing to do, particularly given the current political climate, which is why this really stood out to me. I read most of Going Dark in one sitting because I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dean and Annie.

The suspense plotline involving eco-terrorists balanced out the romance and kept the story moving at a good pace. While I enjoyed this storyline, I’m definitely more invested in the overarching series plot. I want to know who betrayed SEAL Team Nine and why. One of the people looking for answers is Colt, a former member of Dean’s platoon. The subplot involving Colt and his ex-wife, Kate, had me on the edge of my seat. The two of them made such a strong impression that they almost threatened to steal the show. I say almost, because Dean and Annie were definitely the heart and soul of the story and they really left a good impression on me. I finished Going Dark a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what Ms. McCarty has in store for the rest of the Lost Platoon.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review: Under Pressure by Cathryn Fox

Under Pressure by Cathryn Fox
Series: Dossier, Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Scorched
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781974565368
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Veterinarian, Reese Scott can't believe it when her dossier contains vouchers to Mexico to go cage diving with sharks. And when not being intimidated by sea creatures, she's supposed to be having hot monkey sex with a stranger. So why would her best friend Cole Rayburn be involved in her adventure?

Except when Cole takes his shirt off, and she sees he's filled out in all the right places, she can't help but want a closer look…touch. Too bad he'll always see her as the tomboy from next door. When she finds herself inside a shark cage and in his arms, she knows she has to do something about it.

But what if she tries to seduce her best friend and he rejects her? More importantly…what if he doesn't?

Under Pressure is a fast-paced, seriously hot friends-to-lovers romance. As that is one of my favorite romance tropes, I was eager to dive into Reese and Cole’s story. Author Cathryn Fox did not disappoint – Under Pressure was the perfect mix of sweetness and spice.

Reese and Cole have been best friends for years, but each is too fearful of damaging their friendship to let on how much they want the other. An adventure-filled vacation is just the push they need to take the leap from friends to something much more. Ms. Fox did a great job of establishing Reese and Cole’s bond in a short amount of time. Because Cole and Reese do have such a strong foundation, it’s not unbelievable that they fall in love so quickly as they’re pretty much there to begin with. There’s no false drama in the story (which I appreciated), only two people understandably wary of damaging the most important relationship in their lives.

As individuals, Cole and Reese are incredibly likeable. As a couple, they are smokin’ hot with excellent chemistry in bed and out. And when you add in that they can also be quite sweet together, it’s easy to see why they’re such an easy couple to root for. All in all, Under Pressure is a quick and sexy romance that will leave you smiling. I adored Cole and Reese and I’m looking forward to more of Ms. Fox’s Dossier tales.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.